Previous Orchestra Director Jacob Tews left Wartburg’s music faculty in August and Sam Stapleton, the new visiting strings professor from Iowa City, joined the faculty.

“I ended up getting the conducting bug,” Stapleton said. “It’s remarkable, the feeling that you get when you get up on the podium for the first time. When the whole orchestra is playing right in front of you is one of the coolest things you could experience. You kind of get hooked.

Stapleton has played professional violin for 16 years, conducted in six ensembles and created his own music groups in Boston, including the Boston Cambridge Philharmonic.

Now, Stapleton teaches strings methods and conducts at Wartburg. Stapleton has had a love for teaching string music and the composers behind it, and also has taken charge of the Wartburg Community Symphony Orchestra, Kammerstreicher, teaches private viola and violin lessons and string methods classes. Starting next January, he will be leading two sections of Music Theory II three days a week.

“I see good progress in rehearsal. Everyone seems wonderful and I’m really impressed with everyone’s intelligence and the level that they are playing at,” Stapleton said. “They’re new to me and I’m new to them, but my goal as a conductor is to program really interesting music that they and the audience enjoy and expand their horizons.”

The students involved in Symphony Orchestra and Kammerstriecher are enthusiastic, but still adjusting to the change.

“The style and approach is a lot different from what we were used
to,” Oliviya Caruthers, a thirdyear chemistry major and vice president of Kammerstreicher, said. “I think it is just a matter of the group letting go of Professor Tews and embracing a new conductor, but we are really excited to learn the new music.”

After all, change can be tricky.

“I have only interacted with him in rehearsals, and he seems very down-to-business,” Ben Peters, a third-year computer science major, said. “I enjoy the focused and fast-paced atmosphere.”

Kammerstreicher’s next performance will take place from 3-5 p.m., Nov. 2, in the Wartburg Chapel.




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